Thursday, 31 October 2013

Dear Alex

Dear Alex

Happy Birthday my little pumpkin, you're one today!

Three hundred and sixty five days ago you arrived into our lives, like many people becoming a parent for the second time around i worried about having enough love for a second baby but the surreal moment where i felt them pull you from me, then you started crying and i joined you those worries were gone.You slotted straight into our little family and i can hardly remember what life was like before.
You may be like Seb in looks but you are most definitely your own person and that was clear right away. Determined and eager, you never want to miss out on anything, and you were on the move so quickly rolling, crawling, climbing and then finally walking. This means you always have at least one bruise, usually on your forehead. You're always on the go from the moment you wake up in the morning until you crash out mid play in the evening.You have a dare devil streak which keeps me on my toes, i regularly find you perched on the windowsill or scaling the bookcases.

You adore your big brother, copying him and letting him bash you round the head with good humour and you've started to get him him back by pulling his hair, you get so grumpy when he isn't around,  I can see that you have a special bond and i can't wait to see it develop as you get older and I'm sure you'll be getting into all sorts of mischief together and have me pulling my hair out. 

You show an appreciation for my singing that nobody else does, I'm not sure if it's a compliment that you fall asleep during it though! You have a stubborn streak and you don't appreciate the benefits of a lie in but who can resist your cheeky grin, dribbly kisses and the excitement you get from waving at us across the kitchen table and dancing along to the radio in the mornings. 

You are my little adventurer and i can't wait to see what adventures we get up to over the next year.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Belvita Breakfast Biscuits

In the mornings i often skip breakfast through lack of time and energy. Despite knowing it's not good for me, i feed the boys and then forget about myself but this means i often lack energy in the mornings.

I was given the chance to try some Belvita Breakfast Biscuits in the new Cocoa with Choc Chip flavour and jumped at the opportunity. I love chocolate so these were perfect for me! I tried them with my morning cup of tea and i was impressed the biscuits were really crunchy and had a nice texture to them, they were lovely with my tea but i would have happily eaten them alone too. You could taste the chocolate but it wasn't too much for morning. A serving is a pack of 4 biscuits(you get 6 packs in a box) but 2 was enough for me and Seb had 1 too(it disappeared pretty quickly!).
The breakfast biscuits are made from a blend of 5 wholegrains, are rich in cereals and are a source of fibre. They are baked so that they slowly release carbohydrates over several hours to keep you going until lunchtime. They are ideal to either eat at home or on the run.
For more information check out the Belvita Breakfast website
 **I was sent these to review but all words and opinions are my own**

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Awesome Orange and Ginger Cake

The lovely people at Ellas Kitchen recently sent me some Halloween recipes that all the family can enjoy. I thought i'd share my favourite with you lovely lot! 

What you need
·    75 g/2½ oz unsalted butter
·    150 g/5½ oz golden syrup or black treacle
·    225 g/8 oz self-raising flour
·    2 teaspoons ground ginger
·    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·    225 g/8 oz coarse cut orange marmalade
·    1 egg, beaten
·    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

What to do
·    Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark. Grease a 20 cm/8 inch square cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
·    Melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring well to combine. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
·    Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl, then slowly pour the syrup mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the marmalade, egg, orange juice and 1 tablespoon of hot water and combine to make a soft mixture. Add a further 1–2 tablespoons of hot water if it is too stiff.
·    Pour the mixture into the cake tin and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 30–35 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
·    Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before carefully removing it to a wire rack. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or cold with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Ella’s Kitchen The Cook Book - the Red One is out now (£14.99, Hamlyn). Visit for more information.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Glow in the dark playdough

Last year i made 'anty playdough' and this year i wanted to do something different.
I wanted to try to make some glow in the dark dough but i wasn't sure if it would work. I made some basic playdough and added a little green food colouring.  Once the dough was made i added some of our glow in the dark paint and kneaded it in, i kept adding it and kneading it in well and then left it in direct light to see if it would work. And it did, i had a lovely ball of glowing dough. Unfortunately as with my glowing pumpkins my camera wouldn't take a photo of it in the dark without a flash.

I set it up with some spooky cutters and let Seb play after dark. He was pretty fascinated by it glowing at first and then of course got down to playing with the dough.
I'm pretty dissapointed with my camera not getting decent photos, i'm going to keep trying to get it to work so i can add glowy photos on here.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Superhero birthday invites

Seb's birthday is creeping up on us now. 
Although we are only planning a small party i wanted to have some nice invites.
 I had a look at premade ones but decided i wanted some that were a little more personal so i browsed a few sites and found a fab template on Vistaprint and just added our photo and wording before ordering. I'm so pleased with them, they look really good(obviously i've cropped our address details off the bottom of this photo!).
 I love that the back is printed too, a fab extra detail.
Now to give them out to people :)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Moustaches, rainbows and puppy dogs

It's Tuesday again so time for some kids fashion. 
This week I managed to get a photo of both of the boys looking at the camera and neither of them are moving, it's a miracle! 

Seb wears. Long sleeved tee-Ted Baker, Petrol cords-H&M
Alex wears. Blue cardi-H&M, Rainbow tights-Slugs n Snails (from Kyna Boutique)
 The red t-shirt Alex has on is a puppy dog print tee from my faves, Polarn O Pyret.
Before i go, how cute is this moustache print fine knit jumper?
We got it from Tesco this week, they have some lovely bits in the toddler boys range at the moment.
 What did your little ones wear today?

Halloween: Pumpkin Painting

I'm not a huge fan of carving pumpkins(read that as i'm too lazy) so we paint ours instead. It's also much more toddler friendly as they can do it with no help. 
 I got some delivered with last weeks food shopping and Seb was so excited to see them and even more excited when he got to paint them!

He painted them, left then to dry and then covered with glitter paint and let that dry and finally painted glow in the dark paint on them. Unfortunately my camera refuses to take a photo of them glowing so you'll have to trust me on that one!
 I'm hoping they'll hold up well enough to be put out on the door step on Halloween.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Carrot and Courgette Muffins

A yummy lucnhtime treat for little ones and mums
 To make 8 large muffins

2 eggs
1 courgette,grated
1 carrot, grated
2 heaped tablespoons of cheese, grated
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 tablespoons of milk
150g plain flour
30g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder

 Preheat your oven to 200C
Break the eggs into the bowl and beat with a fork, add the courgette, carrot, cheese, milk and oil and mix through. In a seperate bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking powder and then combine with the egg mixture. Spoon the mixture into some muffin cases until they're 2/3 full and pop into the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Chunky Carrot and Lentil Soup

For me the arrival of Autumn means it's time to start making soup. Of course you can make soup at any time of year but it is so lovely to have a pan of soup bubbling away on a dull afternoon. Soup is so simple and cheap to make and so good for you that it's a no brainer really.
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 onion diced
600ml vegetable stock
100g of red split lentils

Pop the carrots, potato and onion into a large pan, then add your stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the lentils and leave to simmer for around 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend down to the consistancy that you like your soup. Ours had to be chunky as my blender broke halfway through!
Serve with bread for dunking.

Halloween sensory tub

Halloween is coming so of course i wanted to make up a sensory tub for the boys to explore.
 It's our first dabble into Halloween themed fun this year and there seems to be a growing market in this country, much more then when i was young so i was able to get pick up some bits pretty cheaply to put in the tub.
 I used spiders web as the base and added in an inflatable ghost and bat, eyeballs, spiders, witches fingers and some pumpkin fairy lights. Then i popped in some cardboard witches, pumpkins and some Halloween words, finally i added some chocolate foiled wrapped pumpkins.tried on the witches fingers and of course ate the chocolate pumpkins!
The first thing Seb said was 'that says boo' grabbing the word boo in the box(cue us praising him for being so clever!). Then him and Alex dove in and started touching and pulling everything out. Alex explored what was in the box with his hands and mouth while Seb grouped items, used the eyeballs as eyes, tried on the witched fingers and ate the chocolate pumpkins of course!
 Lots of fun had and the tub is now away ready to come back out on Halloween!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Love those gums ladies

When you find out that you're pregnant your teeth are the last thing on your mind, but did you know that more than 1 in 2 women will have gum problems during pregnancy? The hormonal changes in your body make your gums more sensitive
I speak from experience, my teeth have never been great and pregnancy has taken it's toll on them too. 

Here are my 5 top tips to help keep your teeth and gums  in tip top condition during pregnancy
  • Visit the dentist! In this country pregnant women receive free dental care(and for a year after too), so take advantage! 
  • Remember to brush twice a day, and change your toothbrush regularly. 
  • Floss!! Keep it handy and use when needed.
  • Keep an eye on what you eat and drink and be aware of  the sugars and acids going into your mouth.
  • Use a good toothpaste, they aren't all the same. Oral B Pro Expert Premium Gum Protection is a perfect example of a good toothpaste to use during pregnancy.  
If you have good oral health then your child is likely to be encouraged to do the same, Seb loves brushing his teeth at the same time as me and going to the dentist.
We were sent a sample of Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection toothpaste to try out as part of the BritMums and Oral-B Love Your Gums Challenge. The toothpaste is great, the taste is minty without being overpowering and it's great to know that with each brushing session my gums are being protected.
This post is an entry for BritMums’ #ORALBLoveYourGums Challenge  sponsored by Oral-B, promoting healthy gums – something especially important for pregnant women. Get tips and advice on

Trendy Tuesday

This weeks Trendy Tuesday has a little big of a woodland theme. Both boys have been rocking new things this week. 

We pre ordered the new seasons Slugs and Snails tights from Kyna Boutique a few weeks back and they've arrived. We put the woodland creatures ones on right away and they are super cute, i love the little squirrels on them. 

Cardigan-H&M, Tights- Slugs and Snails
 Seb's fox jumper had drawn lots of comments, it's so cute and there is even a tail on the back 

Jumper-H&M, Black jeans-George
What have your little ones been wearing?
Link up to Trendy Tuesday and show off their threads
Badge for TTT, Badge

Monday, 14 October 2013

Don't stress about your score

In the middle of each month there is a day where i open my twitter account and see many of my fellow parent bloggers discussing their newly released Tots 100 score. 

For those not in the know, Tots 100 is a parent blogger network with over 7000 members.  Each month they rank all of the blogs in their community(don't ask me how its worked out, i have no idea!) according to popularity and influence. 

Every month when the scores are released i see bloggers pleased they have gone up and others upset that they have gone down, occasionally there is bitchiness about other peoples scores(be it good or bad). But if you are happy with your blog does it really matter what your score is? Is it worth getting upset over?

If you look in my sidebar you'll see I'm a member of Tots 100, so yes i am ranked along with all the others. If my ranking goes up, that's lovely but if it drops(like this month) then nevermind. I'm never going to be a massive blogger, that's not my aim, i blog because i love documenting our lives, sharing ideas and reading about others. I love looking back at the things we've done and seeing peoples little ones grow up. Some months i seem to have lots of time and ideas to post other months not so much.  Of course everyone blogs for different reasons but I'd like to think that its not all about a score in your sidebar.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Painting with conkers

This week Seb and Alex came home from a day at their grandparents with a huge bag of conkers that they'd collected.

I was so pleased as we hadn't been able to find any on our walks. We explored them but i wanted to do more then that so i did some googling and decided to do some conker painting with Seb.

To make it easy to clear up, i used an empty eggbox to put paints in, the compartments were the perfect size for the conkers to fit into and be covered in paint.Seb set to work making the conkers all painty while i popped some paper into an old amazon box. Then we put the conkers into the box and shook and tipped it so the conkers rolled all over the paper leaving lovely patterns.

Painting with conkers

We still have loads of conkers left over, so i need to find more uses for them!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mama Wears: Pugs

I love a quirky print so when i saw this pug print dress on ASOS i knew it had to be mine! 
I wore this for a day of shopping(no children, bliss!). The print is super cute and the tights are lovely and cosy, a perfect colour for this time of year too.

Pug dress-ASOS, Berry opaques-ASOS, Black cardi-Primark
I totally forgot to take a photo of my shoes but they were only flat pumps so nothing too exciting! 

What are you wearing today?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Autumn Days

Autumn is such a beautiful season. 
I love the colours as the leaves change and the feeling of excitement as we build up to the festive period. I haven't posted much about what we have been upto recently so thought i would share with you before the madness of Halloween, birthdays and Christmas begins.

There are so many things i love to do at this time of year enjoying the last days of sunshine for the year, crunching in freshly fallen leaves, collecting conkers and jumping in puddles when it rains.
We have of course been on the obligitary nature walk to look at how things are changing at this time of year, collecting a pile of leaves and using them for printing, Seb is just so interested in everything at the moment and learnt about mixing colours of paint to make different colours.
We've been baking alot too, making the house smell of bread, cakes and biscuits. My slow cooker is back in use for warming meals on the cooler evenings. 
What have you been upto this Autumn?

Top Gun and Chevrons

Both boys are modelling new things this week :)

How fab is this Top Gun tee? Phil loves Top Gun, so when i saw it(especially the Little Maverick on the back) i had to buy it. 

Top Gun Tee-Next, Red Skinnies-H&M, Batman Converse hi tops
 Alex finally fits into these fab leggings, they've been sat in his wardrobe for weeks waiting to be worn :) I love the tee too, the little eye patch lifts up.

 Pirate tee-Tesco, Yellow Chevron leggings- Indikidual (from Kyna Boutique), Striped socks-Ted Baker
 What's your toddler wearing?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Our favourite thing to bake at the moment is muffins. They are quick and easy to make with a toddler helping and of course they are yummy. I thought i'd post the recipe we've been using so you can get your bake on.
 To make 12 muffins
  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 175ml semi skimmmed milk
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg 
  • 125g chocolate chips(i used white chocolate for this batch)
  • a little extra sugar
Preheat your oven to 200C and line your tin with muffin cases. 
In a bowl mix your dry ingrediants(make sure you put the chocolate chips in now) and mix your wet ingrediants in a seperate bowl. Then combine them and mix lightly, the batter should be lumpy for muffins.
 Fill your muffin cases around 3/4 of the way and then sprinkle your extra sugar over the top before putting into the oven.
Bake for around 25 minutes.

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